Common Sense, Paine’s pro-independence monograph published anonymously on 10 January 1776, spread quickly among literate colonists. Within three months, 120,000 copies are alleged to have been distributed throughout the colonies, which themselves totaled only four million free inhabitants, making it the best-selling work in 18th-century America. Its total sales in both America and Europe reached […]
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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in […]
by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Edited by Frank Woodworth Pine (1869-1919). Franklin wrote his autobiography in the form of an extended letter to his son. While recording the events of his life, he adds instructions for good living which makes this work America’s first “How to Succeed” book.
The Commentaries on the Laws of England are an influential 18th century treatise on the common law of England by Sir William Blackstone, originally published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford, 1765-1769. The Commentaries were long regarded as the leading work on the development of English law and played a role in the development of […]
The Politics, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC), is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that “Man is a political animal,” meaning that people can […]
The Anti-Federalist Papers are a collection of articles, written in opposition to the ratification of the 1787 United States Constitution. Unlike the Federalist Papers written in support of the Constitution, the authors of these articles, mostly operating under pen names, were not engaged in a strictly organized project. Thus, unlike the Federalist Papers, it is […]
The Federalist Papers are an excellent reference for anyone who wants to understand the U.S. Constitution. They were written and published during the years 1787 and 1788 in several New York State newspapers to persuade New York voters to ratify the proposed constitution. The Federalist Papers consist of 85 essays outlining how the new government […]
Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) was an American individualist anarchist, entrepreneur, political philosopher, abolitionist, supporter of the labour movement, and legal theorist of the nineteenth century. Here he gives his views on the role of Governments in the private lives of their citizens.